Published on February 22, 2021 | Staten Island Advance | Written by Michael Anderson | Staten Island Chamber of Commerce
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Since 1994, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and Staten Island Advance have presented the Louis R. Miller Business Leadership Awards to honor professionals who demonstrate strong leadership skills, unwavering commitment to our community and strong business sensibilities.
Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has been disruptive for all of Staten Island’s small businesses, a new class of leaders has been selected. This year’s seven recipients have demonstrated their strong leadership abilities for decades before the pandemic, and continue to do so in the face of strong challenges.
This year’s recipients are: Dean L. Balsamini (Small Business Development Center at the College of Staten Island); Dr. Karen DiBona and Dr. Mark Scamardella (DiBona & Scamardella Dental Studio); Susan Fenley (Sundog Theatre); Thomas J. Hall (The Law Firm of Hall & Hall, LLP); Shawn J. Stradford Sr. (Stradford Home for Funerals & Cremations, Inc.); Lakruwana Wijesinghe (Lakruwana restaurant).
By providing their knowledge, time and effort, these honorees continue to make Staten Island a great place to live and work.
Awards are presented in four categories: Emerging, Established, Master and Not-For-Profit.
The honorees will be recognized during the annual Louis R. Miller Business Leadership Awards Breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 25. This year’s event is virtual. For tickets, visit www.sichamber.com or call the Chamber at 718-727-1900.
Lou Miller — who passed away in 1994 at the age of 93 — spent a great deal of time serving as a consultant and mentoring numerous small business owners. He was always there to guide and give advice to local entrepreneurs. He was a driving force in creating the Business Education Development Council in 1993 at the College of Staten Island, which has since evolved into the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Small Business Advisory Group.
Miller also knew it was important for businesses to succeed for them to have the ability to give back to their community. Over the years, he supported many groups and causes, such as the Jewish Community Center, the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences, the YMCA, the College of Staten Island and Doctors’ Hospital.
Similar to Miller, this year’s seven honorees have shared their success by giving back to the local community.
The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and the Staten Island Advance are pleased to introduce each of this year’s leaders, who exemplify the work of Lou Miller.